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Julian Edelman’s presence help fills leadership void for Patriots


jets_108With quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski not participating in Patriots OTAs, the young players don’t have the benefit of the examples they set and the leadership they bring. To balance that out, receiver Julian Edelman is back, after a torn ACL wiped out his entire 2017 season.

Having him out there brings leadership to this team, he brings excitement to this team and he brings an aggressive nature to this team, Patriots safety Duron Harman recently told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. Having him out here makes the team better.

He said the restrictions imposed by the league on players go against the beliefs that protesters like Kaepernick have stood up for the past couple years.

Notes: Vrabel said he told the Titans on Wednesday morning that the team and controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk will support players on making a decision on the national anthem when the time comes. Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker said that’s not a decision that has to be made until September.

The claims administrators confirmed Wednesday that more than $300 million has been paid out from about $439 million that has been awarded through the claims process— nearly three times the expected amount for the first year of the settlement.

They also said they have the ability to determine if a claim is fraudulent and flag it for denial. The power of a special investigator would be to determine if there was purposeful intent behind the fraudulent claims.

Tarlowe said if intent is determined, cases could be referred to the Department of Justice, lawyers and doctors could be turned in to professional ethics panels and lose their ability to practice or other punitive measures might be taken.

Derrick Johnson visiting the Raiders


The Raiders could be returning the favor for the Chiefs drafting their G.M.’s son.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, former Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson is visiting the Raiders today.

The Chiefs released Johnson in February, and he insisted he wasn’t ready to retire. The 35-year-old hasn’t visited or met with anyone (that we’ve heard of) since, but the Raiders obviously feel like they could use some experience inside.

Here are other free agency notes we’re tracking:

The Cowboys could be close to bringing back defensive lineman Terrell McClain, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The big DT had a visit with Dallas this week and contract talks are escalating, Rapoport reported. McClain started 15 games for the Cowboys in 2016 before heading to the Redskins in free agency last season.

O’Donnell said he would sort out the misunderstanding Thursday.

A warrant was issued for Anderson’s arrest for failure to appear in court to face arraignment on a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving. Felony charges were dropped last month.

Carolina is suddenly in need of running back depth.

The Panthers placed Fozzy Whittaker on injured reserve with a torn ACL, the team announced Thursday. Whittaker suffered the injury Monday in a non-contact drill during Phase 2 of the offseason program.

Whittaker appeared in 12 games in 2017, totaling 18 yards rushing on seven carries and 47 yards receiving and a touchdown on five catches in his role as a third-down rusher.

His value, however, extends beyond the offense.

Bryant McKinnie Thinks Teams Will Find a New Reason Not Sign Colin Kaepernick


Bryant McKinnie Thinks Teams Will Find a New Reason Not Sign Colin Kaepernick More Former NFL offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie told TMZ Sports he believes NFL teams will continue manufacturing reasons for not signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Being too far removed from the NFL, teams will now use that as an excuse, he said.

New Orleans Saints Have a Top Offense and Defense in the NFL More NFL rosters are coming into focus now after the completion of the 2018 NFL Draft, and analysts around the NFL are starting to grade the caliber of each NFL team’s roster. Bleacher Report gave separate rankings for the offense and defense of each NFL team. On offense, the Saints came in incredibly high, with the #3 overall ranked offense in the NFL, #2 in the NFC: Pete Carmichael has served as coordinator since 2009 and will head the offense again in 2018 with a 39-year-old Drew Brees under center. A year ago, Brees got to relax a bit, attempting 536 passes over 16 games, his first dip below the 600-mark since—get this—2009.

German got a ton of help from second baseman Gleyber Torres. To end the fifth inning, Torres ranged far to his left and into shallow right field. After sliding, Torres popped up and threw out Tyler Naquin at first base.

Five months after getting dismissed from the Rutgers football team for violating team rules, former Scarlet Knights wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell is apparently looking to transfer to another school.

The one-time, four-star recruit has had a tumultuous college football career, arriving at Rutgers in September 2016 after serving a suspension at Michigan during his freshman year.

Now, Mitchell will apparently look to revive his football career at another school just not a team on Rutgers’ schedule in 2018 .

Mitchell tweeted out a picture of a letter from Rutgers that serves as a scholarship release (a Rutgers official confirmed the letter is legit). Dated April 30, it grants all institutions, except Big Ten programs, Texas State, Buffalo and Kansas (Rutgers’ three 2018 non-conference foes), permission to contact Mitchell regarding his interest in transferring. tigers_055-115x115